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Nov. 29 forum to discuss Solomon Amendment
Nov. 29 forum to discuss Solomon AmendmentNovember 28, 2005Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
The Syracuse University LGBT Resource Center and the University Senate Committee on LGBT Concerns will present a public forum on the Solomon Amendment, Tuesday, Nov. 29, from 11:45 a.m.-1:30 p.m. in the Kilian Room, Room 500 of the Hall of Languages. Parking will be available in SU’s paid visitor lots.
The U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on Dec. 6 about the constitutionality of the Solomon Amendment. Under the Solomon Amendment, Congress and the Department of Defense require law schools to provide the same access to career placement services to military recruiters that they provide to other employers. This requirement conflicts with most law schools’ policies of non-discrimination that withhold career placement services from employers who exclude employees on the basis of race, gender, religion or sexual orientation. Congress and the Department of Defense have threatened law schools and other university departments with loss of federal funds if they uphold their non-discrimination policies and do not permit equal access to military recruiters.
The Forum for Academic and Institutional Rights (FAIR), the Society of American Law Teachers (SALT), and several student organizations and individuals have challenged the Solomon Amendment, arguing that it violates the First Amendment on two grounds. In November 2004, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of FAIR and held that the Solomon Amendment unconstitutionally impairs expressive conduct and that the government had not shown a compelling interest that justifies denial of this First Amendment freedom. The Department of Defense appealed this ruling and the case will be heard in the Supreme Court on Dec. 6.
At SU, a panel discussion will focus on the history and impact of the Solomon Amendment, and the upcoming argument in the Supreme Court. Panelists include: Les Burleson, consultant for SU’s Center for the Support of Teaching and Learning; Julie Gedro, assistant professor at SUNY-Empire State College; Paula Johnson, professor of law at SU and former co-president of SALT; Bess Kennedy, third-year student at New York University Law School and member of the FAIR Litigation Team; and Anastasia Urtz, SU Dean of Students.
For more information, contact the LGBT Resource Center at firstname.lastname@example.org or (315) 443-3983.